Sunday 29 November 2015

Vintage Waterloo (Part 1)

The dust has settled, the soldiers are all back in their boxes (well almost), Roy is finishing the washing up and Napoleon has made a hasty departure to the south – Vintage Waterloo is over, but what a game!

We had nine players on the day and each took control of a portion of the total of 2,600+ 20mm Hinton Hunt figures assembled for the re-fight. The figures were deployed over both of Roy’s sizeable wargame tables with the smaller one used to represent the area around Plancenoit. The game ran for 12 turns each representing an hour of real time which saw us neatly through from 11.00am to a dramatic conclusion at 10.00pm.

I took over 100 photos and as these were taken under battlefield conditions (nine bodies all jostling for position at the table) you’ll have to forgive any that are a bit blurry or poorly composed but I hope they can convey something of the spectacle and fun of the day.

Initial deployment of the French right wing (the building in the centre is La Haye Sainte) - D'Erlon's corps are in the distance with part of Lobau's command in the foreground. On the far edge of the table there are some Prussians lurking in the woods but these were not activated until turn 3. 
Barings KGL riflemen stand ready to defend La Haye Sainte whilst the 95th Rifles occupy the sandpit on the other side of the Brussels road.
D'Erlon's corps - some 12 units of French infantry looking pretty formidable. The units in the front line were all from my own collection.
Reille's corps make ready to attack Hougoumont.
An overview of the left side of the main table showing the area around Hougoumont. On the Allied side at least half of the troops in this area were C class Dutch Militia although the chateau was garrisioned by a unit of British line infantry.
Allied troops massed on the ridge overlooking La Haye Sainte.
A general view of the Plancenoit table. The Prussians are all deployed along the table edge to the right while a rather meager looking French force occupies the buildings of the village.
D'Erlon begins his advance towards the Allied left. Hill however responds with a sneaky move to break up the French attack by charging two batteries of RHA forward and unlimbering them at close range.
A view from the French positions in Plancenoit showing the Prussian hordes in the distance. I wasn't able to follow the fighting on this table as closely as I would have liked as I was at this time carrying the burden of the French high command on the main table.
More French troops in Plancenoit - I made an early decision to allocate 3 guard infantry units and 2 cavalry units from the reserve to bolster the defences of the village.
The Prince of Orange considers his options in the face of an imminent attack on Hougoumont.
Blucher: "I can't see that in the rules!", Lobau "Are you sure you have version 5.3?"
Our host Roy taking a break from his catering duties to study the action at Plancenoit.
The French infantry make their first attack on La Haye Sainte while Guard lancers canter past before turning left to ride down the Allied skirmish line.
A close up of the attack on La Haye Sainte. The 95th Rifles are just coming into range whilst the Dutch/Belgians of Bylant's brigade (at the base of the ridge) look on nervously.
D'Erlon's massed corps start to advance on the main Allied position. The RHA batteries can be seen unlimbering on their flank supported by a unit of Prussian Uhlans. The battle proper was now underway!
To be continued.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Countdown to Waterloo

It seems like quite a long time ago I started work on these but in fact its only been two months which is a super quick turnaround for any unit on my painting desk. They are of course the 1st Cuirassiers and all that remains is to complete their basing and they will be ready for action.

This is just as well because Roy and I are finally getting together for Vintage Waterloo next Saturday where my Cuirassiers will be joining over 2,000 other Hinton Hunt’s for the realisation of a boyhood dream – refighting the famous battle in miniature.

I’ll try to remember to take photos!

Thursday 5 November 2015

Mounting up

The Hinton Hunt painting instructions for French Cuirassiers FN102 and FN310 state “Dark brown horses for the whole regiment except trumpeters” (click here to see the instructions on the Hinton Hunter).

When I first started painting Hinton Hunt’s back in the early 70s I had a very limited choice of colours being restricted to whatever Humbrols were available in the local model shop. At this time the range was very limited and I used the same Dark Earth Brown for everything – guns, packs, muskets, hair and of course horses.

So I’ve been in two minds about whether to paint them all the same shade of dark brown in tribute to my old army or if I should vary them a bit in a more realistic way. In the end I’ve gone for a bit of variation using all three shades of Foundry Bay Brown and I’m hoping that the overall finished effect will be dark enough.

Sunday 1 November 2015

Muskets & Marshals (5.3)

The evolution of my house rules Muskets & Marshals continues and I am very grateful to have further input from Cirencester Wargames Club who used the rules recently to refight the attack on La Haye Sainte. This game was played using 28mm figures rather than 20mm Hinton Hunts but it was a good test of the rules – for the full battle report click HERE.

As a result of this and other recent play-tests I have just uploaded the latest version of Muskets & Marshals (5.3) which can be viewed or downloaded HERE or by following the link from my ‘Rules & Stuff’ page opposite. This version also includes a play-sheet and an optional firing system for big battles – thanks to Stuart for these!

This version of the rules will be the final version for use with Vintage Waterloo which Roy and I hope to be playing at the end of this month.